Grief is an incredibly individual experience and can be manifested in all sorts of different ways.
For women who have miscarried or are struggling to get pregnant in the first place, it's fair that they would want a reason why.
But if they try to pin the blame on someone else, the situation can become confusing, if not strange, in the blink of an eye.
During her engagement, Redditor FarArticle2 was asked to host a baby shower for her fiancé's sister. But after suffering a miscarriage, her soon to be sister-in-law secretly held a grudge against the couple, especially when they started having children of their own.
How extensive of a grudge, surely no one knew at the time.
FarArticle2 told their tangled tale on the subReddit "Am I the A$$hole" to see if they were in the wrong with how they handled their sister-in-law.
You can read her full story here:
"This is about my sister in law. [My husband] and I both have more siblings, but all are male. She was pregnant when my husband and I were engaged."
"I got pushed into hosting her baby shower, and my then fiancé decided last minute to make lemonade and mixed up my lemon flavored crystal light with my caffeinated, NOT EVEN LEMON FLAVORED crystal light. I didn't know about this, and she had... a lot of caffeine that day."
"Probably about 600-800 mg. She lost her baby a short while later. I don't think caffeine is dangerous, I used it with my children. The jury was out, and the family let it go. I haven't heard anything more about this incident until now."
"My husband and I got married, and too quickly had two children (Irish twins). She seemed kind of sour towards me, but I never understood why."
"I didn't make the drink in the first place, and neither I nor her doctors think caffeine was the problem. To be honest, I'm very used to being the 'only skirt in the room'. I don't really understand what it is to compete with another woman outside of a professional context, so I just kind of assumed close female familial relationships were like that."
"She's apparently having issues having more children, and needs a surrogate. Now she's demanding that I provide my uterus because I 'owe her' and 'had an easy time with it'."
"I DON'T. I had an easy enough time, but if I'm going through pregnancy, it's my child. We've had multiple calls and emails now."
"I don't think she's mentally well enough to have a child anyway."
"She got me riled up enough with the accusations and demands that I responded to an offhand threat to force me by saying that 9 months is a long time to cage someone, and thank god for planned Parenthood, because she needs therapy and not a baby, and I certainly wasn't supporting it."
"She went off on me for my beliefs, called me some choice names, and hung up. I'm not doing it either way, but am I the a$$hole for this?"
Fellow Redditors immediately started chiming in, stating that this mother was not the cause of another woman's miscarriage, and that she certainly shouldn't be held responsible and forced into an act of surrogacy.
Some also chimed in that this could be her sister-in-law's way of grieving the loss of one child and the struggle to have another. Though she shouldn't be involving her brother's wife in her grieving process, it seems realistic enough to believe that grief is the true culprit here.
"Absolutely no one is ever an a$hole for not being a surrogate. Childbirth and pregnancy is no joke and hard enough when you want to do it for you, much less someone else. Tell her that your decision is final and you will not change your mind."
"Caffeine likely didn't cause her miscarriage and it's gross that anyone holds you responsible for this. I think you need a time out from her."
"No contact for at least three months. The two of you can't be civil right now. Step away." - afterthestorms
"NTA. She has zero right to demand this from you. It comes with serious health risks. A mother of 3 in my area lost her life giving birth as a surrogate very recently."
"You have your own kids to think about, and her miscarriage wasn't [your] fault. You need to go no contact with her." - SurprisePikachuuFace
"I imagine this SIL's doctor tried to communicate that the caffeine did not cause the miscarriage, but the SIL may be refusing to accept any other explanation. The other explanation, in her mind, may be her own failure to carry the baby to term."
"Blaming OP is how she is rationalizing her pain and anger. It's absolutely not fair to OP, and SIL definitely needs help. OP - have you spoken to your brother about his wife's behavior? Perhaps express concern for her mental health?" - BackInThe40
"It does sound like she's both desperate to blame someone for the miscarriage, and to leverage that somehow into getting a child."
"I understand the wish to blame someone else (even though it's likely no one's fault at all, I understand a lot of women who miscarry still do blame themselves) and to have a child, but... this is not how to deal with those emotions." - twowolfhowl
It seems clear that this sister-in-law will not be providing surrogacy anytime soon, which is completely fair, but hopefully she and any involved family will be able to make amends. Grief is a messy thing and can easily take years to fully overcome.